Football

Chennaiyin FC steamrollers Army Green

The jigsaw may be far from complete, but Chennaiyin FC demonstrated increasing cohesion and moments of individual excellence as it steamrollered Army Green 7-1 in a practice match here on Wednesday.

In the team’s third friendly game since it set up camp here a fortnight ago, Eduardo Silva Lerma and Bernard Mendy scored twice, while Abhishek Das, Cristian Hidalgo Gonzalez, and Jaison Vales all found the net.

The player-manager Marco Materazzi set his team up as a 3-5-2. Mendy, who played as a right-back for much of his career, occupied the middle of that defensive three.

His role, it appeared, was to organise the defence: barking instructions and berating players who strayed too far forward.

Mendy strikes

Mendy remained solid throughout and scored twice in the second half, once from the spot and once with a strong header.

The former French international struck a second penalty against the upright, but Hidalgo was on hand to tap the rebound in.

The latter, playing as a withdrawn striker, was one of Chennaiyin’s best players in the first half, assisting Eduardo for the opener.

The pace in the side came from Abhishek Das, a right-footed full-back deployed on the left wing here.

He won two penalties with his surging runs into the box.

The captain, Bojan Djordjic, was outstanding throughout and dictated the tempo of Chennaiyin’s attacks from central midfield. Djordjic’s passes were precise, and his free-kick for Mendy’s header perfect.

Materazzi brought himself on in the second half and played all over the pitch — in midfield, attack, and on the right wing.

Although his movements looked laboured, his touch was good, and he set up Vales’s goal with a sweetly-cushioned header.

Meanwhile, Chennaiyin FC finalised its 28-member squad for the inaugural season and also added Colombian striker John Stiven Mendoza to its roster.

The result: Chennaiyin FC 7 (Eduardo Silva Lerma 2, Bernard Mendy 2, Abhishek Das, Cristian Hidalgo Gonzalez, Jaison Vales) bt Army Green 1 (Nanish).

The squad: Goalkeepers: Abhijit Mondal, Shilton Paul, Gennaro Bracigliano (France).

Defenders: Gouramangi Singh, Dhanachandra Singh, Khelemba Meetei, Abhishek Das, Bernard Mendy (France), Jairo Suarez (Colombia), Marco Materazzi (Italy), Mikael Silvestre (France).

Midfielders: Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Denson Devadas, Dane Pereira, NP Pradeep, Jaison Vales, Anthony Barbosa, Sukhwinder Singh, Cristian Hidalgo (Spain), Bojan Djordjic (Sweden), Bruno Pelissari (Brazil), Pierre Tillman (Sweden), Elano (Brazil).

Forwards: Jeje Lalpekhlua, Jayesh Rane, Balwant Singh, Eduardo Silva Lerma (Spain), John Stiven Mendoza (Colombia).


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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 5:06:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/isl-preparation-chennaiyin-fc-steamrollers-army-green/article6466619.ece

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